Four Professors of IIT-Kanpur got a reprieve from the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday when it stayed action against them in connection with harassment of a Dalit faculty member.
The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had directed the IIT-Kanpur management to suspend and lodge an FIR against four Professors of the Institute who were found guilty of passing casteist remarks against a Dalit faculty member Dr Subramanium Sundrela.
Showing displeasure over inaction by the IIT-Kanpur management, the commission had directed the Institute Director Prof Manindra Agarwal to submit an action taken report by May 1.
Fearing suspension and arrest, the four accused professors had approached the Allahabad High Court against the NCSC order. The High Court stayed the NCSC order and issued notices to its Chairman and the IIT-Kanpur Director seeking their explanation and details of the case.
A graduate of the IIT-Kanpur, Dr Sundrela had joined the institute in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor. He had lodged a complaint with the IIT-K Board against four senior professors of the Institute who allegedly passed casteist remarks and mentally tortured him since he belonged to a low caste.
The Institute Director, Dr Manindra Agarwal had constituted a three-member committee, headed by Prof Vinay Kumar Pathak of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), to probe Dr Sundrela’s charges. After an inquiry, the three-member committee had found all the four senior Professors guilty of continuously harassing Dr Sundrela in its report submitted last month.
The report was placed before the IIT-K Board of Governing Council on March 19 to decide action against the guilty professors. But instead of initiating any action, the Board had recommended a compromise between the victim and the accused faculty members. But Dr Sundrela turned down the offer and took his complaint to the Commission.
Taking serious note of the IIT-K management inaction, the Commission has issued directives to suspend all four professors and lodge an FIR against them under the SC/ST Act. The commission has asked the IIT-K management to submit an action taken report by May 1.
IIT-K Director Manindra Agarwal said that they will abide by the commission’s order and initiate action against the four professors in the case.
The IIT-Kanpur is in news for the past one year for all wrong reasons. In January, a girl student of the Institute was allegedly raped by an IAF employee within the campus on the pretext of marrying her. In October last year, about 22 students were rusticated for ragging their juniors.